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10-Jul-2017 20:32

His memorable first big league start and win were accomplished while he was high.

* * * y this time, Rod Scurry and Pirates mascot, the Pirate Parrot, Kevin Koch, had become friends.

A snort in each nostril and you’re up and away for 30 minutes or so. In the 1960s, when he was just a child, he stacked mattresses against the wooden fence in the backyard of his Nevada home and hurled fastballs at them. Frequently compared to the preeminent lefty of all time, Sandy Koufax, Scurry drove himself to live up to the compliment. to jog to school through high mountain air and sometimes freezing temperatures just so he could get extra pitching practice in at the Hug High gym before the opening bell rang.

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Fall was all about the Steelers, in the winter he followed the Penguins, and his summers were devoted to the Pirates. Without a full-time occupation, he felt a certain validation in being able to say he knew and spent time with prominent sports figures.

Pitching coach Harvey Haddix defended the young pitcher, saying, “You don’t need sleep to pitch.

I did it many times in the days we rode trains between cities. You take it out on the other team’s hitters.” What Scurry failed to mention to Haddix was that it wasn’t merely adrenaline keeping him up at night—it was cocaine, which he also used before the game.

When Koch and Shiffman hit the city’s nightclubs and bars after Pirates’ games, they typically ran into some of the players.

Inside Pittsburgh-area nightspots such as Heaven, the VIP, Sophie’s Saloon, or the Sunken Cork, things got interesting for the pair.Reliever Eddie Solomon completed the shutout, going the final two innings to secure the victory. I never complained about relieving last year, but I’ve always wanted to be a starter.” “Last year was frustrating,” Scurry admitted. They were world champions, and they had to go with the pitchers who won.